Love Gives in your neighborhood, work, and marriage.

9 07 2013

Picture1Our Sunday series “Love Gives” about relationships has us talking about our neighborhoods, workplaces, and marriages.

Jesus said, “Love God,  Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Jesus  Mt 22:37-38

Jesus tells a story in Luke 10:25-37 about a good neighbor.

This good neighbor provided real help by:

  1. Compassion
  2. Courage
  3. Creativity
  4. Cash & Credit

That’s why we talk about “Courageous Generosity” – choosing to live on less time, energy, money so that we can be a blessing to others.

This is why we choose to:

Share Life      Be Available

Serve            Take Action

DUKE 19 IDonald Schaefer (Mayor, Governor) said that AC was the worst thing for Baltimore because people retreated into their homes and stopped being involved in each other’s lives. At times, you have to spend time outdoors to be available for relationships with neighbors.

Psalm 112 gives us a great picture of what people look like who can really change a neighborhood.

They are Generous, Compassionate, Righteous, Confident, Fearless, and Triumphant.

They lend money generously, conduct their business fairly, not overcome by evil, trust in the Lord, share freely, and give generously to those in need.

There are Benefits to living this kind of life: Joy, Children & Generation Blessed, Influence, Honor, Remembered.

You can listen to my wife Rebecca teach on this and describe our Baltimore neighborhood experiences: here.

Here’s a Prayer we can pray in response:

“Dear God – Please forgive me for that times that I’ve lived a selfish life & ignored my neighbor. Help me choose courageous generosity. Please find me sharing life and serving my neighbors. Thank you for this opportunity to reflect your love.”

Howard Thurman

What about when I go to work or school?

Many people don’t know that Dr Howard Thurman helped Dr Martin Luther King Jr, greatly in his work.

These two pastors changed our country for good. Pastor Thurman is known as the first pastor of a racially blended mega-church in the USA. He had a great full life of service, ministry, and work. Some know him for the quote attached here.

He understood that God created each of us for a specific purpose. Before Adam and Eve sinned, God gave them a purpose in their lives. Work is not a consequence of their sin. When your vocation is fulfilling and a part of your identity, you can know a truly great life!

In Jesus’ work we see: Stewardship, Servant Leadership, and Vocational Integrity. When Jesus was at work He was always: Inspired, Honest, and Adding Value to Others.

From the book, “Your Work Matters to God” we see Four Reasons for Work:work

1.Serve People
2.Meet Our Needs
3.Earn Money to Give
4.Love God
The Bible does provide us some perspective about when we go to work:
  1. Expect evil.
  2. God is sovereign.
  3. God expects us to act.
  4. God uses evil.

Team work is better just working together:

Are you a team player?

•Selfless & Mission Conscious
•Prepared & Intentional
•Dependable & Disciplined
•Tenacious & Solution Oriented
There are benefits to your organization, in 4 areas of the organization and you, if you work well as a team:
1.Arena – We both know
2.Mask – I know, you don’t know
3.Blind Spots – You know, but I don’t
4.Potential – We don’t know, God knows
If we do this it will be easier to: Enjoy it & celebrate milestones and trust God with the results.
Here’s a prayer to help:
“Dear God, please forgive me for the times that I have not seen my work the way that you do. Help me see what you see. Give me the grace to work in a way that pleases You. Please find me sharing life and serving my teammates. Thank you for this opportunity to reflect your love.”
Harbaugh FamilyHow does love give in our marriages?
Every family looks a little different and yet we can learn from our God of love.
Reading Ephesians 5:21, 25, 33; 6:1-4 is a perfect start! “Submit to each other” is the right way to start a relationship each day. Choosing to love a person in a steady and sacrificial way is a God-kind-of-love, “agape”.
Don’t let life cause you to give up on what your marriage could be like!
We can Dream Big and Think Small to make real decisions about how we spend our time. For each relationship we can define our:  Roles and Goals..also how we can Serve and Surprise them.
A “Jesus Follower Dad” has Benefits:
1.Forgiven Forgiver
2.Faithfulness Favor
3.Connected to the Provider
4.Compassionate Encourager
Here’s a prayer that we can pray regarding our marriages and family relationships:
“Dear God, please forgive me for the times that I have not loved my family the way that you do. Help me dream big and think small. Give me the grace to love my family in a way that pleases You. Please find me sharing, serving, and surprising my family. Thank you for this opportunity to reflect your love.”

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